Study What You Love
"Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life." That quote is attributed to Confucius, but regardless of who said it you should consider its meaning, not just when considering your employment after college, but also when choosing a major here at Princeton. In particular, a hallmark of the Princeton degree is independent work in both the junior and senior years, and this type of work requires a great deal of internal motivation. You'll enjoy your educational experience much more if you work on something you love.
How do you figure out what you love when it comes to learning and working independently, and how do you match that love with a major? This is a process that can take some time and patience, but to begin there are a few questions you might ask yourself to help you explore your interests and figure out where you are most likely to be a happy and productive student.
- Where have you typically found classes that interest you, both in your coursework before college and your coursework here, but also when looking through course descriptions and offerings outside of what you have traditionally studied?
- What prerequisites for a major would you find pleasurable rather than onerous to complete?
Since scholarly work is as much about methods and practices as it is about topics and materials, you will also want to think about activities you love, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Which activities or ways of thinking come "naturally" to you?
- In which extracurricular activities do you excel?
- Do you like teamwork, or do you prefer to work alone?
- Where have you received praise in the past?
A true search takes time, exploration, risk-taking, and a lot of questions, but there are real payoffs to studying what you love.